'Kasambahay Law' takes effect

Local household helpers may heave a sigh of relief, as the law aimed at giving them protection and better working conditions takes effect.

The “Kasambahay Law” or Republic Act 10361 has taken effect Tuesday, June 4, ushering in new rules in the employment of household help.

Related story: At long last, house helpers get their due

This includes a minumum wage payable in cash for all household service workers as well as the provision of comprehensive benefits packages.

Under the new law, household workers in Metro Manila should receive not less than P2,500 a month.

Minimum wage for kasambahays is meanwhile set at P2,000 for chartered cities and first class municipalities and P1,500 for those in other municipalities.

Domestic workers’ salaries should also be paid in cash and not in any other means, and should be given directly to the kasambahays.

Meanwhile, benefits should include contributions to the Social Security System (SSS), housing fund Pag-IBIG and the Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth).

Kasambahays should also be entitled to 13th month pay, and service incentives and leaves under the law.

Also read: Pinoy 'kasambahays' overworked, underpaid, UN says

The law is a “landmark piece of labor and social legislation that recognizes domestic workers as similar to those in the formal sector,” Labor Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz said.

“The purpose of the law is to not only protect substantial rights and provide better privileges, but also to prepare domestic workers to become more productive citizens of the land,” she added.

The law is also in fulfillment of the country’s obligation under a United Nations convention on the protection of domestic workers globally.

The Philippines was the second country to ratify the International Labor Organization Convention 189 last year.

The Senate and the House of Representatives meanwhile approved the Kasambahay Law in November. It was signed by President Benigno Aquino III on January 18.

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